Argos-Shimano’s John Degenkolb made sprinting look easy once again as he took his fourth Vuelta a Espana stage win in just 10 days of racing this afternoon.
The German had the edge over FDJ-Big Mat’s Nacer Bouhanni and Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) at the finish in Sanxenxo, while race leader Joaquim Rodriguez successfully navigated another day without any problems. He maintains his 53-second lead of Chris Froome (Team Sky) going into the sole individual time trial of the race tomorrow.
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Team Sky’s Ben Swift finished in ninth, having faded when well-placed in the final kilometre.
Having been overlooked for Argos’ Tour de France team, Degenkolb is clearly enjoying his first participation in a Grand Tour.
He currently boasts a 100% record in bunch sprints, having won previously in Viana on stage two, Logrono on stage five and then in Alcaniz on Friday.
His victory-haul beats Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish’s hat-trick of victories in 2011 and 2010 respectively, and he becomes the first man to win four stages in the race since countryman Andre Greipel achieved the feat in 2009.
Vuelta a Espana 2012, stage 10: Ponteareas to Sanxenxo, 190km
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Argos-Shimano in 4-47-24
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
4. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
5. Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
6. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Pim Lightart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
8. Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre-ISD
9. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
10. Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale all at st.
General classification after stage 10
1. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 1392.4km in 34-44-55
2. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky at 53secs
3. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank at 1-00
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team at 1-07
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank at 2-01
6. Dani Moreno (Spa) Katusha at 2-08
7. Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R at 2-34
8. Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel Euskadi at 3-07
9. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 3-18
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank at 3-27
Danny Pate on front
Chris Froome and Alejandro Valverde
Four out of four for Degenkolb
Joaquin Rodriguez in lead
Vuelta a Espana 2012: Startlist
Vuelta a Espana 2012: Reports
Vuelta a Espana 2012: Route info and analysis
Vuelta a Espana 2012 route revealed
Vuelta 2012 route leaves time triallists out in the cold